BANGALORE : City-based Ganapati Hegde’s series Forests of the Mind, depicting the lush wilderness of Malnad, is on display at Kynkyny Art Gallery.
Hegde is in the software industry and moonlights as an artist. Art has been his passion ever since he was a child. More recently, in the past decade, his love for nature too has found expression in his work, usually as a vibrant and colourful subject.
To him, ‘nature is beauty’, sometimes bewitching, sometimes with a touch of pathos. “Painting nature is not like taking a photo,” he feels the need to explain. Some of his paintings could even be a skull of a sea animal he’s picked off the beach at Kumta, where he grew up.
“I once came across a dead bird while I was walking on the street, and I wondered how it died. Of old age? Strangulated by a wire?” he shares. So he took it back home, watched it and drew inspiration from it for his art. “You’ll notice that it’s beautiful in its own way,” he says.
Animals, from frogs to birds to caterpillars, also feature in his paintings, usually painted with acrylics or oils, his favourite media. “They are often human-like, like a couple of chameleons sitting on a sofa set.” And they don’t particularly signify anything, but are open to interpretation, he adds.
The way nature is being ravaged bothers him. And his work is a medium to voice his concerns. But he’s not really hoping to bring about change through them. “I know artists can do much,” says he. Yet his paintings speak a different language -- one of life and hope. Nature is the theme he wants to stick with. “I have about a thousand other sketches ready already,” he tells us. The first artist in his family, he says it was his grandfather, a very culturally aware person, and his parents’ encouragement that helped him pursue a degree in fine arts. But balancing work and art is still challenging, he adds, though rewarding too. “My art gives me peace of mind. Even if I sit up late and work, I always feel refreshed.”
(Forests of the Mind at Kynkyny Art Gallery from Monday to Saturday, till October 29.)